LG Electronics has signed a deal German lens maker Jos. Schneider Optische Werke (Schneider-Kreuznach) under which the two companies will collaborate on optics for the cameras in cell phones.
The partnership, which is the German company's first with a cell phone manufacturer, comes hot on the heels of the launch of LG's "Shine" cell phone. The phone, which was announced in South Korea last week, contains a Schneider-Kreuznach lens.
The two companies started working together on the Shine phone a few months ago and Wednesday's agreement should lead to closer cooperation on future phones, said Judy Pae, a spokeswoman for LG in Seoul.
The agreement was signed by Skott Ahn, executive vice president of LG Electronics Mobile Handset R&D Center, and Josef Staub, CEO of Schneider-Kreuznach.
As competition increases in the cell phone industry phone makers are putting more emphasis on improving camera features. A handful of phones offer optical zoom, which delivers much better quality images than those using a digital zoom. Samsung Electronics recently launched a phone with a 10-megapixel image sensor and optics typically found in a digital still camera.